Doing queer in the everyday of academia reflections on queering a conference in international l...

Manon Beury
Bérénice Kafui SCHRAMM

The pioneering 1990s movement in critical theory has generated path-breaking scholarship seeking to queer law. Efforts to queer international law have produced important research uncovering the role of international law as a performative discourse and as a transnational governance framework reproducing gendered and sexual hegemonies. However, these efforts have done very little to destabilize the structures and workings of the very site where international law is theorized and taught: the university. Queering international law has mostly entailed looking at how the state, international organizations, international lawyers, scholars, and civil society produce or resist the heteronormative matrix, "that grid of cultural intelligibility through which bodies, genders, and desires are naturalized." But what about the role of the university and its everyday routines––themselves byproducts of the aforementioned matrix––in reproducing and/or resisting (gendered) hierarchies and exclusions? We have raised this question as young scholars involved in organizing a week-long event on queer methods in international legal scholarship. The present essay is a first attempt at grappling with what the queering of an academic conference in international law meant for us, and for the university itself. It echoes a recent trend in scholarship on queer pedagogies, which, however, remain mostly silent on practices of scientific exchange. By reflecting on our efforts to queer a workshop in the field of international law, we also hope to inspire others to pursue their own queer processes of knowledge production.